Himalayan Art Resources

Item: Medicine Buddha - Retinue Buddha

སངས་རྒྱས་སྨན་ལྷ། 药师佛
(item no. 32136)
Origin Location Tibet
Date Range 1700 - 1799
Lineages Jonang (Sakya) and Buddhist
Material Ground Mineral Pigment on Cotton
Collection Private
Notes about the Central Figure

Classification: Deity

Interpretation / Description

Ashokattamshri: belonging to the Eight Medicine Buddha Brothers, located in the North-west, second ring, of the fifty-one deity Medicine Buddha Mandala. This composition belongs to a set of nine paintings and depicts three different subjects within the iconographic program of the single composition: (1) Medicine Buddha Mandala Deities, (2) Medicine Buddha Initiation Teacher Lineage, (3) the Thirty-five Confession Buddhas. (See the Medicine Buddha Main Page and List of Figures Page).

At the top center is Chaturbhuja Lokeshvara. Below that is Amitayus Buddha. At the right and left sides are four Tibetan teachers wearing monastic robes and pandita hats along with four Buddhas in typical appearance. The teachers are lineage figures and because of the colour of their hats are likely to belong to the Jonang Tradition. The full group of lineage teachers are divided between the nine compositions of the painting set.

The four Buddhas belog to the set of Thrity-five Confession Buddhas. The full group of thirty-five Buddhas are divided between the nine compositions of the set.

Standing at the middle left is Lhunpo Tsegpa (Merukut, 23 (14), white, holding a crescent moon above a lotus. Standing at the middle left is Lhunpo Chenpo (25 [16]), white, holding a nectar filled vase.

At the bottom right side is Brahma belonging to the outer circle of the mandala. He is one of the ten worldly gods. His place is number 26 (1). In the 'Eastern direction is Brahma, yellow, holding a wheel, riding a goose.'

On the left side is a god riding a bird and holding a crescent moon. At the center is the god of the sun riding in a chariot decorated with the head of a horse.

Jeff Watt 12-2013

Front of Painting
English Translation of Inscription: [There are Tibetan name inscriptions for each of the figures]

Related Items
Thematic Sets
Tibetan: Home Page
Buddhist Deity: Medicine Buddha (Painting Masterworks)
Buddhist Deity: Medicine Buddha Main Page
Publication: Sattvas & Rajas, The Culture and Art of Tibetan Buddhism (Painting)